October 30, 2017
Recently, Global Exchange has notified the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) that it will no longer sponsor it and enable it to receive tax-deductible contributions. Jeff Ordower, the new director of Global Exchange, explained this by saying, “First, Global Exchange is not interested in an association with Bob Avakian or the RCP....”
As former prisoners whose lives have been positively transformed through engagement with Bob Avakian’s works as well as a wide range of other literature provided by the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund, we want to express our outrage and condemn what amounts to arbitrary and mean-spirited censorship of the PRLF by Jeff Ordower, the new director of the Global Exchange.
Jeff Ordower has stated: “Yes, I am a new director and one of the folks making this call. Two concerns pop up. First, Global Exchange is not interested in an association with Bob Avakian or the RCP....”
While incarcerated, enclosed by gloomy, gray concrete walls, we received literature from the PRLF that was truly a light in the darkness. The way we viewed the world and the role we played in society changed dramatically. We learned to think of more than ourselves and our present conditions, we learned of all the unnecessary suffering of masses of people throughout the world and were able to reclaim our humanity by recognizing it didn’t have to be that way and that there was a role for us to play in changing it. Through engagement with Bob Avakian we were inspired to think differently, to raise our sights beyond the monotonous comings and goings of prison life, and were able to envision a radically different world, without people being horrendously exploited, oppressed, degraded, cast off and ground up like human garbage by this system. Now Jeff Ordower wants to prevent other prisoners from getting the same opportunity.
Jeff Ordower has through his actions appointed himself the position of “thought cop,” policing the ideas that prisoners are able to engage by unconscionably cutting off the lifeline to the outside world that the PRLF provides to hundreds of people behind prison walls simply because he doesn’t agree with communism. What the PRLF has done for us (and does for many more still locked up) was more than offer an escape from the maddening, mind-numbing and mind-killing conditions of incarceration, but more importantly awakened us to political life and moved us to radically change our morality and way of thinking in the most positive way imaginable, yes, through the works of Bob Avakian and the RCP, as well as other works from other perspectives. It is hard to imagine the immensely positive transformation that we have been through had it not been for the work of the PRLF in getting the works of Bob Avakian and subsidized subscriptions of Revolution Newspaper into our hands and into our cells.
This censorship is nothing more than a cheap, unprincipled anti-communist attack and we the undersigned call for this action to be reversed.
Signed by four former prisoners and two current prisoners, whose names are being withheld to prevent political repression, and now being circulated among current and more former prisoners for endorsement.